Thursday, 22 November 2018 10:49

Valuable Hollows

Raising your young in the hollow of a tree is the only way to live - according to many birds that is! These hollows offer protection from predators and provide a comfortable chamber for eggs to hatch and young birds to grow. Whilst the hollow opening is often high up in the tree canopy, the actual chamber where the eggs are laid can be several metres back down. In some cases, almost way back down near ground level.

The chambers vary, depending on the tree. Blakely’s Red Gum tend to develop lovely soft chambers lined thickly with ‘mud-gut’. These hollows are favoured by rosellas and superb parrots. Whilst yellow box hollows retain more solid wood internally, which seems to better suit the larger parrots like cockatoos and galahs.

Eucalypts take well over 50 years, typically 100-150 years before developing hollows. At current rates we are losing hollow bearing trees quicker than they are being replaced. This is leading to a hollow short fall in the near future.

Tree arborists can artificially add hollows into existing trees and nest boxes can also be used. However, mimicking the thermal properties of natural hollows is tricky and not something that we have yet mastered. Squirrel gliders are known to use nest boxes but modifications will be required before we see broader uptake by nesting parrots.

This makes our existing hollow bearing trees all the more valuable. Whether alive or dead, we need to do all we can to protect these trees to ensure we continue to see plenty of our stunning parrots moving through our landscape.

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.